Cost of making child’s lunchbox on the rise – check prices from Aldi to Tesco

As the summer holidays approach many parents will not be looking forward to the extra cost of feeding their kids lunch over the long break.

Free school meals help many parents manage their weekly food bill in term time, but without that support over the holidays lots of families are concerned about how they will get by.

As the prices of even basic foods climb in supermarkets, our sister title the MEN has researched how much the price has gone up for a basic kid’s lunchbox of a ham sandwich, a tube yoghurt, a packet of crisps and an apple.

So let’s compare how much these items cost back in February, when supermarket costs began soaring, with how much they cost today.

Back in February Asda came out the highest in price – at 92p for the lunch, but that was mostly because we had to opt for Walkers crisps as its own brand wasn’t available.

This week reporter Emma Gill repeated the shop to see just how much costs have risen and unsurprisingly every supermarket came out as more expensive.

Unexpectedly the biggest increase came at Lidl, where its lunch rose from 62p to 71.6p, a 15.5% hike, largely due to its 400g pack of cooked ham rising from £1.59 to £1.99.

Its pack of Gala apples also contained five rather than the previous six, bringing the individual cost of an apple up from 19.8p to 23.8p.

Morrisons was only just behind Asda at 93p per lunchbox and that’s despite the inclusion of its own brand crisps.

We reported earlier how the retailer’s prices have soared over recent weeks , taking it from the cheapest in our weekly comparison of essentials like milk and bread, to the most expensive of all six big supermarkets.

Overall – with two pieces of bread, 40g (four slices) of ham and 6g of margarine used for the comparison – it was Aldi who came out as cheapest for the entire lunchbox, costing 67.62p – an increase of 9% on February’s 62p.

Back them we said it was impressive that none of the lunches had gone over £1, but with prices creeping closer to that figure, it probably won’t stay that way for long.

A Morrisons spokesperson said: “We know that this is a very tough time for customers and so one of the recent changes we have made is to improve our My Morrisons loyalty scheme. Customers who are part of it will be rewarded with instant offers when they shop to help them save money.”

Here’s how the supermarkets ranked in price – full price of products and lunchbox price (then : now)

Asda
Bread – loaf 58p (cheapest 50p loaf was unavailable) / slices 5.8p : loaf 70p / 7p

Spread – 500g 84p / 6g 1p : £1 / 1.2p

Ham – 400g £2.25 / 40g 22.5p : £2 / 20p

Tube yoghurt – pack of six £1 / 16.6p : £1 / 16.6p

Crisps – pack of six £1.50 / 25p : £1.65 / 27.5p

Apple – pack of six £1.29 / 21.5p : £1.50 / 25p

Total was 92p (would have been 81p with own brand crisps) / now 96.8p (would be 86.4p own brand)

Morrisons
Bread – loaf 59p / slices 6.2p : 85p / 8.9p

Spread – 500g £1 / 6g 1.2p : £1 / 1.2p

Ham – 400g £2 / 40g 20p : £2 / 20p

Tube yoghurt – pack of six £1 / 16.6p : £1 / 16.6p

Crisps – pack of six 85p / 14.16p : 99p / 16.5p

Apple – pack of six £1.59 / 26.5p : £1.79 / 29.8p

Total was 85p / now 93p

Tesco
Bread – loaf 59p / slices 5.9p : 70p / 7p

Spread – 500g 85p / 6g 1p : £1 / 1.2p

Ham – 400g £1.59 / 40g 15.9p : £1.69 / 16.9p

Tube yoghurt – pack of six £1 / 16.6p : £1 / 16.6p

Crisps – pack of six 77p / 12.8p : £1 / 16.6p

Apple – pack of six £1.60 / 26.6p : £1.70 / 28.3p

Total was 79p / now 86.6p

Sainsbury’s
Bread – loaf 55p / slices 5.5p : 70p / 7p

Spread – 500g £1 / 6g 1.2p : £1.10 / 1.3p

Ham – 400g £1.59 / 40g 15.9p : £1.59 / 15.9p

Tube yoghurt – pack of nine £1 / 11.1p : £1.25 / 13.8p

Crisps – pack of six 90p / 15p : 95p / 15.8p

Apple – pack of six £1.60 / 26.6p : £1.70 / 28.3p

Total was 75p / now 82.1p

Lidl
Bread – loaf 36p / slices 3.27p : 36p / 3.27p

Spread – 500g 69p / 6g 0.8p : 85p / 1p

Ham – 400g £1.59 / 40g 15.9p : £1.99 / 19.9p

Tube yoghurt – pack of nine 95p / 10.5p : 95p / 10.5p

Crisps – pack of six 69p / 11.5p : 79p / 13.2p

Apple – pack of six £1.19 / 19.8p : pack of five £1.19 / 23.8p

Total was 62p / now 71.6p